Panama Has a New President

Laurentino Cortizo, candidate of the alliance of the Democratic Revolutionary Party and Molirena, the new president-elect of Panama, will have to assume the leadership of a country whose economy has been slowing down in recent years.

Monday, May 6, 2019

The most recent results of the Electoral Tribunal detail that Laurentino Cortizo, of the Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD), won by a narrow margin, concentrating 33.2% of the votes. He was followed by Romulo Roux of Democratic Change with 31%, independent candidate Ricardo Lombana with 19.1% and in fourth place the ruling Jose Isabel Blandon only managed to capture 10.6%. See full results.

Cortizo's electoral victory comes against a backdrop of Panama's economic slowdown, since in 2018 the country's Gross Domestic Product reported a 3.7% year-on-year growth, far from the increases of 11.3% and 9.8% reported in 2011 and 2012, respectively.

See "Panama: GDP Up 4% in 2018" reviews that "... Experts attribute the slowdown to a global situation that is replicated in the local scenario, where there are few investments in development and others that have already ended. "People don't have cash", "There is little circulation", are some of the phrases that are repeated in the street."

The article adds that "... the new government will assume the mandate with a $25.9 billion debt, in addition to commitments and contracts pending the award of "turnkey" for $4.442 billion. These two amounts add up to more than $30 billion in debt, which divided among the 4 million inhabitants of Panama corresponds to a debt of more than 6 thousand dollars per person. It is one of the challenges for the new government, since to boost the economy new investments are needed, but they do not necessarily have to be developed with state funds, say experts. Some sectors of the economy are inclined towards public-private investments in which the business sector participates together with the government."

Also see "Panama's Public Debt up 9%"

In relation to the election of new authorities, the Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Agriculture of Panama reiterated in a statement "... its willingness to work with the new government and all representative sectors of national life, so before the start of the election campaign we presented the document Country Agenda in order to provide ideas and actions executable in the short and medium term of the issues that require an immediate solution. We are ready to work as a team for Panama."

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More on this topic

New Government: Optimism in the First 100 Days

October 2019

The gradual abolition of price control, the creation of the PPP regulatory framework and greater flexibility in preferential interests in the housing market are the advances recognized by Panamanian businessmen in the first 100 days of the Cortizo era.

Laurentino Cortizo of the Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD) won by a narrow margin, concentrating 33.2% of the vote, with a promise to create more favorable conditions that would allow the economy to reactivate at the beginning of May. He was followed by Romulo Roux of Democratic Change with 31%, independent candidate Ricardo Lombana with 19.1% and in fourth place official José Isabel Blandón only managed to capture 10.6%.

The Cortizo Era Begins

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Laurentino Cortizo, who came to power after promising a campaign to reactivate the economy, make constitutional reforms and make structural changes in several entities, assumes the presidency of Panama on July 1.

Laurentino Nito Cortizo Cohen, a member of the Democratic Revolutionary Party, won the presidential elections by a narrow margin at the beginning of May, concentrating nearly 33% of the votes.

Elections in Panama in Final Stretch

April 2009

The period for electoral propaganda ends today, just three days from the May 3 elections.

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Elections in Panama: Economic Programs

April 2009

For whoever wins the elections on May 3, the main challenge will be to maintain the economic growth that has averaged 8% annually in recent years.

Both the PRD (the Democratic Revolutionary Party, plus the Liberal Party and the People's Party) and Alianza para el Cambio (Democratic Change, the Patriotic Union, the Panamanian Party and Molirena), propose the continuation of the current macro-economic direction of the country, giving continuity to many of the programs conducted by the government of Martín Torrijos.

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